I drilled my first enclosure with a Harbor Freight special step bit, and it was miserable. Then I bought a couple of good step drill bits from a seller on eBay, and it's made it 1000X easier, even with a hand drill.
For me, it's the wiring to box it up. I have big sausage fingers, and it's just not easy.
For LEDs, I just strip my wire and bend it around the lead and crimp it down so it holds itself on. Then just solder it on. I used to HATE off board wiring until I started using Small Bears pre tinned wire. Tinning wire used to be the bane of my existence. Now my least favorite part is probably measuring for jacks, switches, and pots. If they aren't precise it sets off my OCD. It's like when a picture frame is crooked, drives me nuts. I really need to make some templates of my most common layouts.
When I bought a cheap drill press and a stepbit I couldn't believe how I could've gone without it. Like going through butter. Could buy the drill press for 20€. The step drill bit was 30€. Used it for 3 years and still going strong. Best investment I made.
Painting I don't bother with anymore. Just buy painted enclosures at Banzai. Not the best store, but nicest colors I have found.
The thing I hate most (beside the finnicky heatshrink-led-wiring) is wiring the pots. If someone has a good way..
I use solid core wires. Bend the end bit in a 90 degree angle, try to lock it into the pot-lug, and pray it doesn't fall out when soldering. 50% of the time the wire moves further in, giving me a messy joint cause now the plastic is melting in it too. Horrible.
I use the Harbor Freight Helping hands with the magnifying glass, put the pot in the clamps so the three lugs are facing you. I pre-tin the lugs with a healthy dose of fluxed solder, and then tin the wires in the other clamps, which I have 2 layers of heat shrink over, so they don't cut up the wires.. then I solder them in to the pot lug one at a time, and then cut to length. Install pot, run to where you need, boom. That being said, mine still don't look very good.
I used to use helping hands until I heard someone talk about using blue tack. Bought a couple packs at the grocery store for 2 bucks and haven't looked back. I just squish whatever needs soldering into it and it pulls cleanly away when you're done. For pots and jacks I always bend my wires 180 degrees and crimp them on to make a solid mechanical connection then just solder them in place. This does bite me in the ass if I need to desolder something, but it works well for me overall. I've been using a hand drill forever but I'm gonna buy a 50 dollar Harbor Freight drill press this weekend. And yes, step bits are a must.
I have a Harbor Freight drill press, too, and agree it's great for drilling enclosures. What I hate most about pedal making, however, is all trying to clean up all the metal filings from drilling. Anybody have a good system to keep them contained and/or make clean up easier?
I have the cheap harbor freight drill press, works great, even with their step bits too. My suggestion is to adjust the belt for a slower speed, ive found it gives it a little more torque while retaining a decent speed to cut.
I also use an empty 24 pack beer cardboard case ( the ones that come up about halfway on the can) to catch the metal shavings, I put it right on the adjustable base thing. You'll have to move the base out of the way to drill DC jacks on the top of most enclosures though. Hopefully that helps 😁
Ive been lurking in this forum forever now and this is my first post, mainly because I figured I couldn't really contribute to any technical things because this forum is full of great minds! Cheers friends!